Nigeria moves to get $400/ton premium price on cocoa beans

0
204

To benefit from $400 extra price on every tonne of premium quality cocoa beans being enjoyed by farmers in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria has teamed up with the two countries to fulfil the conditions.

Termed Living Income Differential (LID), the extra $400 is a motivation for Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) in cocoa production, which include use of recommended agro-chemicals, certification from international bodies on good practices, practice of agro-forestry to mitigate climate change, avoidance of child labour in the process of cocoa production and traceability of the cocoa beans, farm locations, varieties and other documentations.

A director in the Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abdullahi Abubakar, led the team, including the Executive Director of Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), Dr Patrick Adebola and the National President of the Cocoa Farmers’ Association of Nigeria (CFAN), Mr Adeola Adegoke, to the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) in Accra, Ghana.

The delegation was in the country to meet the officials of COCOBOD to understudy the operations of the LID as accrued to smallholder cocoa farmers in Ghana.

Abubakar said Nigeria’s unregulated and liberalized cocoa industry had been depriving smallholder farmers of the living income differential.

“The LID system which was established by Cote D’Ivoire and Ghana in 2019 is set to be the Cocoa Markets Organization of Africa and if fully implemented in the region can be compared to the organization of petroleum exporting countries where prices of cocoa will be regulated.”

“Nigeria, being lined up to join the LID system, will also guarantee that the premium charged in the $100 billion chocolate industry will help in boosting the income of the smallholder farmers,” he added.

The Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, said some structures ought to be put in place for the LID to work in Nigeria, such as a centralized regulatory system, but trading and marketing in Nigeria are done by individual private companies without any centralized regulation.

Meanwhile, the Project Manager of the Sucden-Olakoko Sustainability Project, Mrs. Mopelola Fabunmi, has said the firm has trained and improved lives of over 7,000 cocoa farmers since inception of the programme in 2016.

According to her, apart from ensuring increased cocoa production, the project ensures that the total wellbeing of the cocoa farmers in Osun, Ondo, Ogun and Edo states are given priority.

Mrs. Fabunmi, who made this known while speaking at the sixth edition of Olakoko Farmers’ Day in Ilesa, Osun State, said the firm discourages the farmers from using their children as labourers on their farms.

Cocoa farmers at the celebration were commended for their efforts in production in the last farming season and farmers were awarded and gifted with items such as deep freezers, wheelbarrows and other tools.

She said: “Sucden-Olakoko Project started in 2016 and all along, we have been training farmers on how to increase their productivity and improve cocoa production.
“We have also assisted in increasing the financial base of our farmers and this has improved their lifestyles. Through this project, a lot of farmers have been able to become landlords while others who were using motorcycles have been able to buy cars.”

Also, the Regional Sustainability Manager for Sucden, West Africa, Meghan Gillis, said the project had supported farmers on building alternative sources of income during cocoa production off season.

The Country Manager of Sucden Cocoa Nigeria Limited, Mr. Banji Akinbinu, said: “Due to the advent of sustainability projects by different companies, farmers are being trained and exposed to modern agricultural practices. We also train them on the dangers of child labour by encouraging them to send their children to schools and not to use them on their farms.”

Speaking on behalf of the farmers, Mr. Yusuf Ganiyu from Ondo State, commended the firm for rewarding hard work and productivity.

The Guardian